Common Linux Commands You Should Know: Part 2

In our last post, we looked at 5 Linux commands (technically six) that are invaluable to any new system administrator. The following are a few more, some of which are critical to know.
cat – This is a unique program that allows you to combine multiple files or parts into a whole. It can also print […]

How to View Hardware Information on a Linux Server

Have you ever found yourself in a situation that required you to find out some information about your server’s hardware and did not have the documentation handy? In some cases, the documentation may even be too generic, covering multiple models. In such a circumstance, you can either crack open the server and take a peek […]

Monitor Your Apache Load and Stats with mod_status

Apache HTTP Server is very extensible, allowing users to easily add new modules and thus new features and functionality. One such module that is helpful for monitoring your Apache web server is mod_status. mod_status keeps track of your web server’s load and displays it along with current httpd connections in a web-based interface.
mod_status displays a […]

Tips for Boosting VPS Performance

In some instances, the performance of a VPS is limited to the hardware and software specifications of the host machine. You have a finite amount of CPU and memory resources at your disposal, and you are not free to change the operating system’s global configurations. Nevertheless, there are a plethora of OS and software parameters […]

Htop: An Advanced Alternative to Top

Top shows you a great deal of information about the top running programs on your server, load averages, memory usage and more. Now imagine Top a little more colorful with some graphical representations of CPU, memory and swap usage, and a full range of shortcuts and functions that can help you manage tasks and find […]

Use Mpstat to Monitor Multiple Linux Server Processors

Probably the first Linux tool you think of when you want to monitor CPU usage is “top”. Top is light and gives you a good glimpse of processes that are consuming processing power. One thing top will not do by default, however, is show you how each processor is working and how much of their […]

Glances System Monitoring Tool for Linux

There is certainly no shortage of system monitoring tools for Linux. If you are the type who likes to know exactly what is going on with your server, Linux is probably ideal for you. Many of these tools are very specific, focusing on one or two aspects like CPU, Memory or Disk usage. Others cover […]

How Do I Find Out What’s Writing to My Drive?

When something is nagging your CPU or chugging lots of RAM, many system administrators turn to a Linux/Unix tool called “top”. But what can you use to identify a program that is doing more than its fair share of hard disk drive reading and writing? For that, you need a program called iotop.
Iotop is […]

How to Run Top in Batch Mode

Top is a handy little tool that allows you to view frequently updated information about your Linux server from load average to free memory. By default, top refreshes every three seconds, giving you near real-time monitoring of CPU and memory usage, top running processes, and more.
Normally, you need to run top from the console, […]

What is a Load Average?

The more traffic your websites and applications generate, the higher the load your server will have to carry. Over the course of a given amount of time, your server may have a variation of high, medium, and low load. The average of that load over time is called the load average.
Programs like “top” allow […]

Virtualization Tips for System Administrators

Virtualization has been one of the best technologies to develop in a long time for many organizations. Server deployment times are shorter, data centers are more energy efficient, and overall operational costs are down. In short virtualization is almost certainly something you should consider for your servers. What follows are some tips that should […]

Stress Test Your Web Server

It is inevitable that high traffic websites will cause a server stress. CPU and memory loads will rise, and it could affect performance. If you are not careful, it could even bring your server and all of its websites to a halt. Therefore, it is imperative that you have at least a general idea of […]

What to Expect from a VPS Provider

Most web hosting companies offer some form of VPS service, so it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. A virtual private server can be almost anything that uses virtualization, so it is important to know what you are getting and if the services offered fit your needs. These are some […]

Dedicated Server Maintenance Checklist

Your dedicated server needs regular maintenance. It will not take care of itself. The following checklist will help you keep your server in top shape.
1. Check your backups – Just because you make backups does not mean they actually work. You need to test them to make sure your server is performing backups correctly. […]

Monitor Memory on a Linux Server

Memory is one of the most important features of any server. The more RAM a program uses, the less you will have available for other applications. Therefore, it is important to monitor memory usage on your Linux server to ensure that all programs are playing nice and that nothing wrong is going on.
1. /proc/meminfo […]

What X Server Is and Why You Do NOT Need It

Spend enough time using Linux and you are bound to hear terms like “X Server”, “Xorg”, “X Windows”, or “X11”. All of these terms refer to the same technology, and none of them are things you need for your Linux-based dedicated server.
On Linux and Unix-like operating systems, the X Server is a layer that […]

3 Linux Server Performance Tips

If this is your first time using a Linux server, you may soon find out that Linux offers many performance advantages over other operating systems. Still, there are plenty of things you can do to make Linux perform even better.
1. Use the Security Tools – You must use the securities tools at your disposal. If […]

3 ls* Commands You Should Know

If you have even a small amount of Linux experience, you have probably used the “ls” command to list the contents of a directory. What you may not know is that there are numerous other ls-based commands that are extremely useful for server management. The following are 3 you should know:
1. lsblk – lists block […]

Why Scalable Hosting is So Important for Business

Businesses invest a great deal of money into dedicated servers. What may start with one server and a few gigabytes of data can eventually grow into an entire server cluster with several petabytes of data. Ideally, a hosting or colocation provider will give businesses the tools to smoothly transition from one stage of development to […]

3 Reasons to Upgrade to Dedicated Hosting

Your shared hosting account has probably served you well for quite some time, but there comes a time when it might be a good idea to upgrade your website(s) to a dedicated hosting plan. There are definitely financial factors that determine when you can and will get a dedicated server, but today we will look […]

Managing Virtual Server Deployment

One of the dangers of hosting virtual private servers is what is known as virtual server sprawl. Like constructing buildings in an area, only so many virtual machines can occupy a single server. High demand for VPS accounts may quickly out pace your ability to create new machines or even deploy new servers to host […]

ARM and Nvidia Architecture in Servers

If you go back further enough in time, you might find some servers running on SPARC architecture, but other than that, only three processor brand types have truly been dominant in the server market. Those are Intel, AMD, and IBM’s PowerPC. Lately, Intel and AMD in particular have dominated the server market with x86_64 architecture. […]

How to Set Processor Affinity for a Specific Task

Linux operating systems work very well with multi-processor servers. Today’s dedicated servers almost always have multiple processors or cores. When you have 4, 8, or even more logical CPUs, you can use Linux’s scheduling system to assign specific tasks to individual CPUs. As long as the task is assigned to that particular CPU, it will […]

The Pros and Cons of Web Server Caching

In the early days of the web, site traffic was pretty straightforward. If a person accessed a page and/or images, the web server would display the static content and use bandwidth proportionate to the size of the files. As the web evolved, however, dynamic content became more prominent and today, dominates the web. Accessing a […]

7 Reasons to Get a Dedicated Server in 2012

2011 came and went, and you still do not have a dedicated server. There are plenty of reasons why you might not be ready for one, and we have covered some of those reasons in previous posts. But inevitably, there are some of you out there who are ready to get a dedicated server, but […]

Troubleshooting High Mail Server Loads

These days many personal email accounts are hosted on cloud servers, leaving many web servers without the need to send and deliver emails to their users. For plenty of businesses, however, having a mail server is still very much a part of the dedicated server experience.
If you host your own mail server, whether Postfix, Sendmail, […]

Do You Need a Dedicated Server for One Website?

If you are new to web hosting or are just getting started with your website, the whole idea of a dedicated server may be foreign to you. At some point, however, you might find yourself in need of one or even several. In many situations, people use dedicated servers for multiple websites, but there are […]

Monitoring Tips Using the ps Command

The ps command is an extremely powerful tool for monitoring processes on a Linux or Unix server.  Processes are the individual instances of a program running on your server.  With ps, you can find out which programs have running processes, how much memory they are using, how much processor power they are consuming, and which […]

A Breakdown of AMD’s Processor Numbering

A while back, we took a look at Intel’s Xeon processor numbering scheme to get a better idea of how their server CPUs are identified.  Intel, however, is not the only server processor manufacturer on the block.  Its direct competitor, AMD, has a server line called Opteron processors.
According to AMD’s specifications, every processor in […]

A Breakdown of Intel’s Processor Numbering

There was a time when all you had to know about a processor was the clock speed.  Then, you knew your 486 was faster than your friend’s down the street.  Those days are long gone, and the complexity of processor power and naming systems for them makes deciphering the actual speed and power a bit […]